Based on the real-life story of British mountaineer Joe Simpson, Kevin Macdonald's documentary could have been entitled The Englishman Who Went Up A Hill, But Crawled Down The Side Of A Mountain.
In 1985, Simpson and his friend Simon Yates went climbing in the Peruvian Andes. After a freak accident, Simpson ended up hanging several hundred feet over an ice crevasse with a broken leg and no means of escape. Convinced they were both going to die, Yates did the unthinkable - he broke a climbers' taboo and cut the rope, letting Simpson plunge to his death. Only Simpson didn't die and spent the next three-and-a-half days crawling down the mountain on his own.
An intimate documentary that thankfully came to life after the planned Tom Cruise blockbuster was iced, this combines talking heads with dramatic reconstructions to engrossing effect. The result is a rousing tribute to the human survival instinct.